Hosting Tutorial & Guide

How to Get a Free Domain Name for Your Website

updated on Oct 13, 2016
How to Get a Free Domain Name for Your Website Before getting a website online, you have to obtain a domain name for it. The domain, then, is the identity of the website.

There are hundreds of TLDs available on the market, and depending on your choice, the cost of a domain name could vary from a couple of dollars to several hundreds of dollars per year. For the commonly seen TLDs like .net, .com and .org, the yearly price is about $12.

If you want to eliminate the cost while hosting a small website, you can gain a free domain name via several ways. In below, we will show you the popular ways and present their pros and cons.

Use a Free Subdomain as the Domain of Your Website

This solution falls into two main types of services. One of these services is the free hosting offered by the website publishing services like, and another is the generous offer from web hosting providers.

Website publishing services

Get a Free Subdomain from Website Publishing Services This type is very popular among beginners, and is exactly a featured service in the type. To build a website with or a service alike, you don't need to pay a penny for either hosting or the domain name. Right after signing up, you can register a subdomain and get a website started within minutes.

With such a service, however, your website is available with a domain like instead of, which is not good for brand building. Another disadvantage is that you don't have complete control over the website. Since it is available under the main domain, the management team usually has the right to remove your website at any time without any previous notice.

Besides, website publishing services specify the tools you can use to build a website. For example, with, you can only set up a site with WordPress, and with Weebly, you are restricted to this website builder, too.

However, if you have decided to try a certain website builder, it is good to use the tool for free under a subdomain.

Web hosting providers

Get a Free Subdomain from Web Hosting Providers Some web hosting providers like 000WebHost offer free hosting services and allow you to build a website with various applications under a free subdomain. The advantage of using these services is that you get an easy-to-use control panel and many other features, while the disadvantage is the limited resources. Also, there are several other reasons not to use free web hosting, such as website ads, decreased security, and poor technical support.

Besides free hosting, some paid hosting services also include free subdomains. For instance, A2Hosting provides the option to host websites on free A2Hosting subdomains. After signing up with A2Hosting, you don't have to register a domain first in order to start a site, and instead, you can make use of the subdomains to have a test of the performance or build any website you want. Paid hosting services are usually much more reliable than the free ones.

Get a Free Domain from a Hosting Package

Nowadays, many web hosting providers pack their hosting packages with a free custom domain name. This means when placing an order, you can register your own domain like or without paying an extra fee for it. The differences between such a domain and the subdomain discussed above are:
  • The custom domain shows more professionalism of your brand and helps build brand awareness.
  • You have full control over the domain so you are able to transfer it anywhere else you like at any time.
The TLDs offered for free are usually the popular ones like .com, .org, .net, .info, .biz and .us. This is great because these TLDs should meet the expectation of most webmasters.

In terms of the free domain packed with a hosting plan, you should pay attention to the free term. Most web hosts on the market, like BlueHost, allow free registration for one year only, which means you need to pay after the first year of registration.

However, there are still a few hosting providers offering a lifetime free domain. Once you sign up with them, you can register a domain with them for free and never pay for it until the day you terminate your hosting account. If you are looking for such a hosting provider, below are the good options.

Get a Free Domain from a Hosting Upgrade

If you have already been using a hosting service and want one more domain for free, you can try upgrading your hosting package. Some web hosts will offer free domain upon service upgrade.

Most VPS hosting providers we have reviewed provide at least one domain name in their hosting packages. So in the case that you have been hosting on a shared hosting platform and want to host more websites on one account, you can upgrade to a VPS to get free domains.

If your hosting provider doesn't present free domain in the VPS feature lists, you can also contact the sales team to ask for one. By doing so, you may earn a domain for the upgrade.


The three methods introduced above are the popular ways to get a free domain for your website. Of course, there are some other less popular ways, too. Below are two of them.
  • Some web hosting providers may release promotions occasionally allowing you to register a domain for free by purchasing a cheap hosting package.
  • By participating in particular affiliate programs, you are able to earn a commission of domains or free domain registrations by referring people. Such affiliate programs are not commonly seen, but you will find some if you have a careful research on the Internet.